Beautiful landmarks destroyed by Second World War bombs – and resurrected

February 16th, 2015

Frauenkirche (Dresden, Germany)

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of the fire-bombing of Dresden (13-15 February 1945) – the concerted Allied air attack which effectively removed its target from the map of Europe. It remains one of the most controversial passages of the Second World War.

The assault left up to 25,000 dead (the figure is hard to quantify), and destroyed much of the Baroque centre of what was arguably Germany’s most beautiful city. Buildings lost to the flames included the glorious Frauenkirche – a huge-domed church, built in 1743, which withstood both nights (even acting as a bomb shelter) – but collapsed in the terrible heat caused by the sustained explosions, its dome falling at 10am on February 15.

It ‘stood’ as a ruin for five decades under the Communist authorities in the post-war German Democratic Republic – the image above shows the remnants of the church in January 1952. However, like all the buildings in this gallery, is also a resurrection tale…

By Chris Leadbeater

Picture: AFP/GETTY


World War Two

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